Sunday, 10 April 2011

Folk Songs on the iPad :-)

I have been playing with Garageband on the iPad for the last two days.  I need to learn the program properly so that I can make podcasts and more with it but even though I have had a Mac for a couple of months I have not yet devoted any time to it finding it much easier to return to the well known Audacity for sound work that I have had to do - mostly because of time constraints!

I thought using the app version of it on the iPad may give me some insight, it seemed a good plan as we have had a few days of beautiful weather and it was great to be able to start the learning journey outside. However I was not bargaining on finding and getting hooked, within seconds, on the acoustic guitar synthesiser  which sounds very realistic. I was so delighted with it I starting to work out the chord sequences of dozens of old folk songs.

It has a full range of keys both major and minor and a preset selection of finger picking rhythms which seem to be set in a straight 4 time, any speed but not any time signature, not that I have found so far anyway!! Consequently I abandoned the presets but am enjoying playing myself.

Having a few iPads in schools would give children comparatively cheap opportunities of playing a large combination of instruments together. With preset chords it should sound lovely and allow pupils to add real instruments with with an in-tune chordal accompaniment. We have had the drums being played on a class set of iPod Touches but Garageband opens the field much wider. I am not sure yet whether the built in recording facility would be useful in this situation but I guess not as it would only record what was being played on one iPad.

Here is a You Tube example of a piece of music composed on the iPad - somthing like this but with  real instruments, flute or clarinet for eample playing a main melody would be great in school giving great opportunities for improvisation too.

Teachers who use songs in class to aid teaching such as those who teach languages to very young children would really find this app useful - not having to carry a guitar to and from school, having it on-hand at any time and so easy to play - simply a dream :-)  Not only that it is very easy to record a song so that the teacher could just start it playing then be with children doing actions or whatever without having to play at the same time.  I would have loved this at school!!

There are a few blog posts to share ideas for this very new capability

From the comments on the following blog clearly not everyone shares my opinion…

Experienced musicians can get quite an amazing sound from this app, my favourite so far is this version of Let it be but the walk through here  and other demos may be much more useful!

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